The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canada loses to Australia 12-10 in Plate final of Wellington rugby sevens

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A late converted try by Australia handed Canada a 12-10 defeat in the Plate final of the Rugby Sevens Wellington tournament on Saturday.

Canada had opened Day 2 at the tournament with a 24-0 loss to New Zealand in the Cup quarter-final before beating Samoa 27-0 to cruise into the Plate final.

The loss in the Plate final means Canada finished sixth in the rugby sevens tournament. The Canadians also earn 12 IRB World Sevens Series points, lifting them into the top 10.

This was Canada and Australia's first meeting of the season and it was the Canadians who struck first when a slick pass from Ciaran Hearn set Sean Duke free for a foot race to the line. That unconverted score took Canada out to a 5-0 advantage after a minute.

Rain affected the handling for both teams, keeping the match scoreless for the next five minutes, with Harry Jones coming agonizingly close to grounding in the corner. Replays led to the referee denying him a try.

Duke would not be halted from crossing for his second score in the sixth minute though after a wonderful offload in contact from John Moonlight allowed the wing to dive over wide on the left.

That gave Canada a 10-0 lead going into the half-time interval.

Australia got back in to the game in the second half, starting when Con Foley went over with just two minutes remaining on the clock.

With regular time having run its course, Australia took the lead when Ed Jenkins's try preceded Cameron Clark's match-winning extras.

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